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Feminist organization earns $250,000 grant

jbrehm2, March 11, 2011 | View original publication

Feminist organization earns $250,000 grant

The International Association for Feminist Economics, headquartered at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will receive a $250,000 grant over the next two years from the Ford Foundation to support publication of a special issue of "Feminist Economics," the Association's signature journal, on "Land, Gender, and Food Security."

The special issue will promote significant research on the expansion of land leases and acquisitions of millions of hectares of farmland in many developing countries throughout the world — often by more developed countries — and the impact of such expansion on subsistence agriculture, women and children.

"The impacts of these land acquisitions on poor women farmers and consumers have been overlooked in most of the discussions to date," said Ann Mari May, professor of Economics at UNL and association officer who will oversee the grant. "The support from the Ford Foundation will allow the association to bring key gender issues into the debates among researchers and activists."

The guest editors for the special issue, all of whom have substantial expertise in this area, are teh association's president, Professor Stephanie Seguino from University of Vermont; Professor Gale Summerfield, association officer and director of the Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Professor Dzodzi Tsikata, director of the Centre for Gender Studies and Advocacy at the University of Ghana.

A portion of the grant will support a workshop that brings together researchers to broaden understanding of food security, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, and to identify which aspects of land leases and acquisitions most affect women and children. The workshop will enable researchers, policymakers, and community activists from throughout the world to share their research and exchange ideas on policy and crucial gender concerns. Grant-supported funding will also be provided for promising scholars who otherwise could not attend, with the goal of encouraging traditionally underrepresented voices from Africa and the Global South.

The International Association for Feminist Economics is a nonprofit organization with nearly 600 members from 55 countries throughout the world. The Association began in the 1990s to promote feminist economic research and facilitate discussions and interactions among economists, researchers, women's advocates and policymakers. May was a founding member of the association and has served for the past five years as executive vice president and treasurer. The organization is housed at UNL in the departments of Economics and Agricultural Economics. "Feminist Economics," based at Rice University and edited by Diana Strassmann from Rice and Gunseli Berik from University of Utah, was launched by the association in 1995 with the goal of enlarging and enriching economic discourse by opening new areas of economic inquiry, welcoming diverse voices and encouraging critical exchanges.